Hello, and to our new readers, welcome to the AgingParents.com newsletter. Well, last month’s article on Dirty Little Secrets About Long Term Care Insurance was a popular one, and generated much interest. We hope you’ll get some new ideas from the articles here. No disrespect is intended by the title “Old Farts on Viagra”.
Carolyn Rosenblatt and Dr. Mikol Davis
Carolyn Was Recently Featured On KRON4 News
For The Full Version of “Things Adult Children Should Know”
This may sound like a flippant title, but the subject can be a serious one. What happens when an elderly male, who was formerly not sexually active, gets himself a prescription for Viagra, or an equivalent, and begins to behave in ways some consider inappropriate?
Falls are one of the most common reasons aging persons enter nursing homes. Falls are a major cause of serious injury in older adults. You’ve seen the common scenario: Mom falls at home and breaks a hip. She has surgery, but it leaves her with difficulty walking. She can’t live alone anymore and needs help with bathing now. She doesn’t have the money for assisted living. She spends what she has on help at home until the money runs out. Then, she has no choice but to go on Medicaid, and move to a nursing home, as there is no one else who can take care of her.
If this isn’t what we want for our loved ones as they age, we, as their family and friends need to look at why falls are so common, and what we can do to help prevent them. Based on my nursing experience, I can say that many elders have no idea that they are so unsteady on their feet. Listing as badly as a sailboat with a broken mast, they’ll keep on refusing help, even as they hold onto furniture to try to walk straight. “I’m fine, dear” may be what you hear if you bring up your concerns.
Much is written about “parenting your parent”. The notion that we have to tell aging parents what to do, and take care of them, and be in charge of their lives is very uncomfortable for most people. Mom or Dad has always been in charge. He or she was always a difficult person to deal with when we were kids. We don’t think of ourselves as able to switch roles with them. Why is this so hard to do?
Your aging parent, and you need help. You’ve got someone coming into the home to shop for and bathe Dad twice a week. Grandma needs help with cooking, and your worker comes three days a week to do errands and prepare meals ahead of time. It’s a relief. But, in these dire economic times, temptation to take something of value from your elder can rear its ugly head.
Caregivers are often unsupervised in the home for long periods. Our aging parents and elders may be forgetful or have impaired thinking. They’re easy enough to fool. That’s especially true if they trust the caregiver. We’re not suggesting that everyone is a thief. We are suggesting increased caution when times are hard. What’s a family member to do?